Five Deserts- Australia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by bikerooter, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. stathill

    stathill Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Widgee, SE Qld
    Once at the clinic we had the news that the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) couldn’t make the pickup until the next morning.

    Its worthy pausing here and reviewing the situation regarding my accident and subsequent retrieval.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p> </o:p>
    Our group’s decision to do the trip unassisted dictated that our strategy for any emergency (that we couldn’t deal with), was to rely on sat phone communications in the first instance. The group had two sat phones and once the 000 was called, the emergency response kicked into gear.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I’m a bit hazy on the actual sequence but within a short time of dialling 000 Andrew was in contact with the Telfer Mine Emergency Response Team. Even though they were hundreds of kms away they organised the nurse from Kunawaritji and monitored the situation.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    From the time of the get off until the ambo arrived was about 3 hours and I was in the clinic in another two. The only lucky part of my day was that we were only 65kms from Kunawaritji. I have wondered what the result could have been had we been 300kms or more from assistance. It’s an issue that needs to be seriously considered when planning travels into remote areas.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Anyway back at the clinic, Anne patched things up, still using my shin guard as the splint and put a dressing over the 50 cent size hole in the back of the leg where the bone had decided to pop out. As there was no overnight facility in the clinic, the general store managers Graham and Joy offered to put me up for the night at their place.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I cannot praise the people of Kunawaritji enough. Not only did Graham and Joy put me up for the night, but they had organised a couple of the local lads to accompany the ambo the day before and retrieve my bike. They subsequently organised for it to be transported to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Alice</st1:place></st1:City> along with all my gear.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Anne also went way beyond the call of duty patching me up and generally making me feel as comfortable as possible (including cooking me brekky) and the indigenous residents also helped wherever they could.
  2. stathill

    stathill Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Widgee, SE Qld
    The RFDS picked me up mid morning and off on a 5 hour flight to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Perth</st1:place></st1:City> via I went.

    RFDS.jpg
  3. stathill

    stathill Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Widgee, SE Qld
    The view of the desert from the air just confirms the remoteness and vast distances that exist in this part of the country. It was truly awesome watching the country pass by that only the day before was being such a challenge. The dunes and salt lakes were endless.

    lake view.jpg
  4. stathill

    stathill Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Widgee, SE Qld
    Having never been to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Perth</st1:City></st1:place> before and a visit not being on the original agenda, it was a real treat to see it from the air and then from the back of an ambo…

    bus.jpg
  5. stathill

    stathill Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Widgee, SE Qld
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:wrapblock><?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><v:shapetype id=_x0000_t75 stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"><v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke><v:formulas><v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f></v:formulas><v:path o:connecttype="rect" gradientshapeok="t" o:extrusionok="f"></v:path><o:lock aspectratio="t" v:ext="edit"></o:lock></v:shapetype><v:shape id=_x0000_s1026 style="MARGIN-TOP: 0px; Z-INDEX: 1; MARGIN-LEFT: 0px; WIDTH: 345.75pt; POSITION: absolute; HEIGHT: 259.5pt; mso-position-horizontal: center" type="#_x0000_t75"><v:imagedata o:title="doc 4" src="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\Dad\LOCALS~1\Temp\msohtml1\10\clip_image001.jpg"></v:imagedata><?xml:namespace prefix = w ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:word" /><w:wrap type="topAndBottom"></w:wrap></v:shape></o:wrapblock>
    Straight to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Royal</st1:placeName> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Perth</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Hospital</st1:placeType></st1:place>, I waited over 6 hours in the corridors until a bed became available around 11pm. That’s the way it is in busy public hospitals.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    X-Rays revealed a broken tibial & fibula (near hardware from a previous break). One view of the x-ray have already been shown, this is the side view.

    xray 2.jpg

    The next day I was in surgery & a nail was inserted to stabilise the bones. The wound was cleaned out and as it was swollen it was left with the view of stitching up in a couple of days.
    <o:wrapblock><v:shape id=_x0000_s1026 style="MARGIN-TOP: 0px; Z-INDEX: 1; MARGIN-LEFT: 0px; WIDTH: 259.5pt; POSITION: absolute; HEIGHT: 303.75pt; mso-position-horizontal: center" type="#_x0000_t75"><v:imagedata o:title="doc 5" src="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\Dad\LOCALS~1\Temp\msohtml1\11\clip_image001.jpg"></v:imagedata><w:wrap type="topAndBottom"></w:wrap></v:shape></o:wrapblock>
    To cut a long story to a reasonable level, over the next fortnight it was discovered that the wound was worse than originally thought and considerable damage had been done to the calf muscle and it would need plastic surgery in the form of a graft.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    My tally for theatre visits over the two week period in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Perth</st1:place></st1:City> was 1 for the broken bones and 4 for “de-briding” the wound (general clean out of dead tissue and blood clotting),to get it to a stage where they could start to talk about skin/flesh grafts.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    At this stage I could see my stay at the <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Perth</st1:place></st1:City> hospital turning into something much longer and given that I had no friends or relatives on that side of Oz it was time to convince the doctors that I should return home prior to any grafts starting.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    After initial resistance to this proposal they eventually came around and agreed to fly me to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Brisbane</st1:City></st1:place>. As had already been experienced, the assistance from Western Australian people has been nothing short of tremendous. Even in a large public institution like a capital city general hospital I can say that every one of the staff that I encountered could not have tried harder to assist within their sphere of influence.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    This “can do/helpful” spirit even continued onto the QANTAS jet where the hostess noticed that I was fairly cramped (trying to keep my leg elevated as per doctor’s instructions) in the two seats allocated to me. Once in the air she asked my neighbour if he’d like an upgrade to business class and hey presto I had three seats to stretch out on.
  6. stathill

    stathill Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Widgee, SE Qld
    Once in Brisbane it was into the Princess Alexandra hospital and continuance of the de-briding treatment (another three theatre visits) and using the vacuum dressings (the wound is covered by a sealed dressing that is connected to a vacuum pump that sucks blood and good fluids into the wound giving it a good environment for healing).

    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    As I write this, after 2 weeks in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Perth</st1:City></st1:place> and 3 weeks in the PA, with the bones all but healed, they still haven’t done any grafting as they are waiting for flesh to grow around the Achilles Tendon. It’s a long process that requires patience. They let me out of hospital yesterday with a portable vacuum pump to keep the wound healing. It is hoped that with the current rate of progress they will put a skin graft over the wound in two weeks.


    I've mostly kept the gory stuff out of this yarn but here's a pic showing how the 50 cent size hole has been greatly enlarged to get the wound to a stable stage. The yellow thing is the tendon.


    wound.jpg
    <o:p></o:p>

    I hope this narrative provides some insight into what can happen after a fairly simple accident in a remote place. Don’t let this put you off adventuring but keep it in mind when planning for contingencies.

    Thanks to all my riding mates for the great ride up until I left you. To the fellows in Townsville can you please return the stuff you borrowed....:D

    cheers
  7. dirtbikeslob

    dirtbikeslob Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    309
    Location:
    dunedin new zealand
    stathill,good wee writup of your little solo adventure.can i ask about the sat
    phone you guys had,was it a rental and if so,costs and where.
    cheers
    richard

    oh yea,chicks love scars:D
  8. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    383
    Location:
    by the C !
    Thanks for the kind words mate but it to be a team effort just to complete the journey. As for the gear, it was well tested before we left and didn't let us down; shame the same can't be said for my frame.

    Fish's Bum-
    To the fellows in Townsville can you please return the stuff you borrowed....

    I know fish will want his engine oil feed line and the tank brace we borrowed,
    but I wonder if he wants the bacon we cooked up when he got hurt or that spare water bladder that went through the rear wheel somewhere south of Alice????:rofl
  9. pirate63

    pirate63 SUPA 10 PILOT

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    brisvegas,oz
    the yellow thing is the tendon!
    f%@ing hell!
  10. aktwventure

    aktwventure Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    71
    Location:
    S.E. AK
    YIKES, that's gnarly! Hope it feels better than it looks. :eek1 Hope you heal up good an new.:clap
  11. gsd4me

    gsd4me 90% bluff Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    9,306
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Great RR, and great story telling style. How did the Xchallenge go on the trip, and what mods were done to it? Are those H&B racks supporting the soft bags?
  12. Aussie Trev

    Aussie Trev aka DRTrev

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,312
    Location:
    La Grange, South Australia
    Great story guys, shame about the injury, but that's what can happen in the bush. Fantastic read.:lurk
  13. philth

    philth www.motorbikin.com.au

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,404
    Location:
    bald knob
    RFDS are legends
    we all need to support em as government funding falls well short of their cost of running and they rely on fundraising and donations to meet the balance
  14. oziexplorer

    oziexplorer fugarewe tribe member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,172
    Location:
    Perth, West Oz
    Sadly true Phil.
    I always donate as I have also experienced their professional services, and until you do so, you don't appreciate what they're up against.
    K. Rudd should dump some "loose change" their way, I reckon, to support their fantastic efforts.
  15. undersea4x2

    undersea4x2 Big Bore wanna' be

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    280
    Location:
    Croydon Victoria Australia
    What an absolutly BRILLANT report...................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I would not have thought a trip that epic could have been done unsupported
    Well done to all of you .............
    Opens up an wealth of questions..............

    Will a "Strom" do it???

    Do I have the coconuts to have a dip??????

    The only easy question to answer is can I leave the wife and kids at home???????

    SHIT YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for the great read

    Under
  16. TexasPrairieRider

    TexasPrairieRider Texan

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    624
    Location:
    6 hours to the border lands
    This is front page.

    [​IMG]
  17. TexasPrairieRider

    TexasPrairieRider Texan

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    624
    Location:
    6 hours to the border lands
  18. Czechie

    Czechie Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    Prague, Czech Republic
    I've been just looking at the map and thinking of my next big adventure and it seems that it's sorted out:clap . Fantastic report.

    I can imagine that all those pictures can't show that beautiful piece of Australia you went through. Can't wait get on the bike and go for the next big ride.

    Is possible to get in touch with Mark, the Transalp rider as I'd like to ask him a couple of question about his beast.
  19. hicksamunga

    hicksamunga Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    Sydney N.S.W. Australia
    great thread and even better photos

    :bow
  20. Pine Sol

    Pine Sol Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Oddometer:
    506
    Location:
    in transit, without a destination...
    thanks for the great report.

    after all is finished, i would be interested in a small reports of how the ktm´s handled the terrain. three very interesting but different model, 640A, 950SE, and the (i forget) 950 or 990. any breakage? milage in the sand? and a general, would so and so use that bike again? i am interested to know, how did the SE handle the rough stuff? was it stock suspension or what changes were made to it?

    thanks,
    Pine